Setting Sail for 2017: A New Boost for European Shipping Policy

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 15, 2015

Photo: Danmarks Rederiforening

Photo: Danmarks Rederiforening

 On the 8th of December European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) launched their proposals for the European Maritime Strategy 2017, which proposes actions in fields of short sea shipping, lifelong careers in the maritime industry, European leadership globally, sustainable shipping and smarter regulation.

 
2017 has been set out to be the European maritime year by Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and hence, the European Commission will prepare a legislative Maritime Strategy. 
 
It is extremely important that the shipping industry provides input to this package. The newly released proposals from ECSA put forward 16+1 concrete proposals on how to improve the competitiveness of the European maritime industry.
 
ECSA has set out four concrete proposals on how Europe can take global leadership, e.g. secure access for EU shipping to markets overseas and stimulate early ratification of international conventions. 
 
It is crucial to ensure that Europe is a trusted partner in international fora and can act as a global leader in achieving a regulatory level playing field through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
 
In addition, Short sea shipping has faced a decrease in growth since 2006 and as a response to this development ECSA has made five different proposals on how to release the full potential of the European short sea sector. 
 
One of the proposals suggests that the Single Market for shipping should be completed. Short sea shipping has an administrative disadvantage compared to road transport since goods transported by short sea shipping between two EU ports lose community status as soon as they leave port.
 
European shipping has the last couple of years invested in improving the energy efficiency of shipping. This positive development should be continued. One way of investing in and improving sustainable solutions for the European shipping industry is by simplifying the access to EU funding.
 
In the 16+1 proposals, five of the proposals focus on lifelong careers in shipping, both at sea and on land. This can be done by supporting the training of seafarers, securing a specific programme under the youth unemployment initiative and increasing the attractiveness of working by sea by reducing the administrative burdens. Having a qualified maritime workforce is crucial for the shipping industry.   
 
Last, but not least, ECSA proposes a checklist to the European Commission for smarter shipping regulation.
 
The Danish Shipowners’ Association has been deeply involved in preparing the into the ECSA proposals and welcomes the document “Setting sail for 2017: a new boost for European shipping policy”.
 
“By linking each and every proposal to one of the core priorities of Commissioner President Juncker, I am confident that this document will be both useful and inspiring for Commissioner Bulc”, says Simon Bergulf, Director EU Affairs for the Danish Shipowners’ Association.
 
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